ibusinesslines.com August 23, 2017

Sonny Bill Williams gets backing in religious stand against logos on kit

20 April 2017, 07:36 | Melissa Porter

David de Gea is not in the Manchester United squad to face Sunderland on Sunday

David de Gea is not in the Manchester United squad to face Sunderland on Sunday

The decision came after Williams returned to Super Rugby last week following an injury but entered the field with strapping tape covering BNZ's logo on his collar.

The dual worldwide has not shed light on the reasons for his actions, however it is understood his conscientious objection is due to his religious beliefs.

Williams said: "I want to be clear that this is nothing personal against the BNZ or Investec".

Cape Town - All Black Sony Bill Williams will start at inside centre for the Blues in Saturday's clash with the Hurrcianes at Eden Park.

Sonny Bill Williams loving being at home with the kids.

"I want to thank the Blues and New Zealand Rugby for working with me through this matter over the last couple of days and respecting my religion and accommodating my request".

Williams was the only player at training wearing the top without the banking sponsor on his collar. BNZ is a principal sponsor of Plunket, and the bank had been "keeping us front of mind", she said.

"The excellent collaboration and goodwill has resulted in an outcome that we wholeheartedly support". "A lot of families will be watching this weekend and we're proud to be there supporting Sonny Bill as a dedicated father and role model for Kiwi kids".

Investec sponsor the Super Rugby competition as a whole, and McKendry claims that they were the reason why it's taken so long for the issue to be resolved - not due to any irritation on their part, but simply down to the fact that they're based in South Africa and a different timezone.

Williams' selection is the only change to the starting line-up from last week's match against the Highlanders.

The midfielder is looking to impress for an All Blacks recall against the British and Irish Lions on their tour of NZ in June.

Coach Tana Umaga said the team is looking forward to taking on the unbeaten Hurricanes.

New Zealand Rugby general manager Neil Sorensen confirmed the request had been accepted as it was a "conscientious objection".

1 Pauliasi Manu, 2 James Parsons (C), 3 Charlie Faumuina, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 5 Scott Scrafton, 6 Jerome Kaino, 7 Blake Gibson, 8 Steven Luatua; 9 Augustine Pulu, 10 Piers Francis, 11 Melani Nanai, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 13.

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